Mayor Leu not interested in bringing back tourism levy
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said Council would need to undertake extensive community consultation with its tourism business sector before considering re-instating a tourism levy.
Mayor Leu’s comments come in the wake of a proposed concept by Cairns Mayor Bob Manning that would impact tourists to the Far North with a modest levy to be charged on overnight accommodation.
As part of Manning’s plan, the levy would benefit Tourism Tropical North Queensland in their promotional efforts.
Mayor Leu said the levy worked really well to support the then Port Douglas Daintree Tourism Limited organisation before Douglas Shire Council was amalgamated with Cairns Regional Council.
“However, there were administrative complexities that came with capturing the tourism levy in Douglas Shire.
“As a council officer, I worked to restructure the tourism body into Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) and then fought hard as a CRC Councillor to continue funding the tourism body from Council’s general revenue,” she said.
Mayor Leu said when Douglas Shire Council de-amalgamated, there did not seem to be a strong desire in the local community to re-instate the tourism levy and, instead, Council continued to fund TPDD from its general revenue at the same amount.
“This continues today with Council putting more than $481,000 per year into TPDD and continues to strongly support TPDD as tourism represents 80 per cent of the local economy in Douglas Shire.”
Martin Tranter, vice president of the Douglas Chamber of Commerce, said his organisation supports any endeavours that promoted destination marketing, provided they are not discriminatory.
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